Action / Rack in EQ November 2008
PURPLE AUDIO ACTION While most of the other units gave us immediate gratification, we had to work with the Action. This is not bad, some of my favorite gear required time to get used to the control interactions. Soy Sos found Action outstanding for tracking samples and fast transient synth materials, but he had difficult dialing in vocal settings quickly. Purple states that the Action is reminiscent of their MC77 (a respected recreation of the Urei 1176; Purple was the world’s only source of those compressors during the years when Universal Audio was on hiatus). I can see the relation, but at the same time, this is not an MC77 packed into a 500 series rack. For one thing, the attack and release times are much broader than the MC77, which can cause distortion if you’re not careful. We wanted to like the Action on bass, but our results were average. However, on synth samples, kick drum, and snare, the Action came alive, adding pop, snap, and presence to sources. The more we used this box, the more we liked it. Price: $675
Strengths: All-button in “Nuke” Setting. Tri-color LED metering. Everyday workhorse compressor performs well on most sources. Limitations: Extreme settings can cause distortion. Ratio knobs can be difficult to move. Dialing up good sounds on some sources requires patience.
PURPLE AUDIO SWEET TEN RACK In addition to being an internally-powered rack, the Sweet Ten has several unique features. As the name implies, up to ten units can be loaded into the chassis. However, slot 9 is a special slot that is designed to accept Purple’s MOIYN 8×2 mixer module. The MOIYN effectively turns the Sweet Teen into an 8×2 summing mixer. So, in addition to tracking with modules you can add equalizers, compressors, or other devices at mixdown.
The Sweet Ten can also accept the Purple Audio CANS headphone amplifier, making this a viable replacement for a small format mixer. Around the back, you’ll notice a third XLR row. The second XLR out on each channel provides the option of running modules split, or linked to one another. Our sample unit came with some six-inch long XLR cables that make linking two units a snap. Price: $800